BY ADAM SERRANO
With the United States journey in South Africa completed, Chivas USA's Jonathan Bornstein spoke to reporters on Thursday to address his experiences in South Africa, his hopes for Chivas USA and the rumors that have swirled around about his future in MLS.
The Rojiblancos captain started in the last two games for the US at the World Cup. The defender has been criticized by the public in the past, but Bornstein admitted that once he reached the World Cup, he never doubted his ability to preform.
" I've always felt that that I could play at this level, I wouldn't disagree with some of the critiques particularly my sub par performances in the Turkey and Czech Republic games," said Bornstein. "But when I went on the field for the World Cup games, I felt settled and I went out with the mentality to do my best and I feel that I did really well holding my own."
Bornstein started and played all 120 minutes in the team's defeat to Ghana and although the team's fitness had been questioned after making three consecutive comebacks, Bornstein dispelled the notion that this affected their performance against the Africans.
"After 90 minutes, we all talked about how we didn't feel tired and we need to run them into the ground now but then we gave up that goal and it got much harder," said Bornstein. "
The Chivas USA captain touched on a number of controversies that have affected the World Cup, but the defender admitted that although MLS uses the same Jabluani ball, that he there was a notable difference in the way that the ball reacted in World Cup games compared to the way that he was used to in MLS
"We used the same ball in our league, but I don't remember that ball moving that much in MLS," said Bornstein." It was definitely difficult, I know that as a defender going in to head the ball, there were several times that I would try to make a play and it would automatically change direction on me, it just feels different from the ball we use in MLS."
The Rojiblancos captain returns to a club that has changed a great deal since he left for the United States training camp. Chivas has yet to win an MLS game since his absence and his co-captain Sacha Kljestan has transferred to Anderlecht in Belgium while a host of players have been released. Speculation also swirls around Bornstein himself as the Captain has been rumored to be making a move to the Mexican league. Bornstein's contract with MLS runs out in six months and the defender was noncommittal when discussing a move.
"As of right now, I'm extremely focused on Chivas USA, but my contract runs out in six months and I am exploring options for my future," said Bornstein. "I never want to close any doors, but as of right now I will finish the season with Chivas USA."
Bornstein expects that he will start in Saturday's match against Philadelphia as the Rojiblancos look to snap their six game losing streak. Although it is a quick turn around from South Africa, the Chivas USA captain expects to be ready.
"It was my decision to come back, I wanted to show the guys that yes I just played in the World Cup, but I'm committed to this team and ready to turn things around," said Bornstein. "I feel healthy and I'm ready to join the cause and turn this team around."
With his experience at the World Cup now in the rear view mirror, Bornstein confessed that it is the support that the team received in the United States will remain with him forever.
"At first we didn't know how big the buzz was here, but then it all really started coming out , said Bornstein. "To be honest, some of the videos brought tears to my eyes and made me so happy to realize that the United States really knows what's going on with us."